Hawaii Film Office: A View from Inside with Donne Dawson

Donne Dawson is Hawai‘i's State Film Commissioner. She has spent more than 12 years building Hawaii's film industry, which during her tenure has generated nearly $4 billion for the state's economy. The Hawai‘i Film Office is responsible for facilitating all film and television production throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Dawson’s office administers the consolidated statewide permitting system and the Act 88/89 refundable production tax credit, Hawaii’s first comprehensive film, television and digital media tax credit. The office also manages the 7.5-acre Hawai‘i Film Studio at Diamond Head, the only state owned and operated studio in the country, where the hit TV show Hawaii 5-0 is headquartered. During the time that Dawson has managed the state’s film office, she has worked as an advocate for the industry nationally and internationally; within state government and throughout our community. She was instrumental in securing, implementing and managing the state’s first tax credit program dedicated to film during the industry’s most globally competitive climate and the state’s most economically challenging period. Dawson has also secured nearly $13 million in capital improvement funds for the Hawai‘i Film Studio. She is currently overseeing the latest phase of these much-needed improvements as Hawaii Five-0 is currently in production for its 6th successful season in the Islands. Prior to directing the Hawai‘i Film Office, Dawson worked as a journalist, producer and communications professional dedicated primarily to the promotion of film, the environment, native Hawaiian issues, and community building. Dawson is native Hawaiian, born and raised in Nu‘uanu Valley. She is on the board for Pacific Islanders in Communications, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center of Kapi‘olani Medical Center, the Hawaiian Native Corporation, and is an active member of the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana. 


The ARTS at Marks Garage
Free and Open to the Public

About HWF Monthly Gatherings: Using a screening and discussion format, our gathering series invites women filmmakers and women involved in the film industry to discuss their work, exchange experience, share their expertise and personal reflections about the making of films and the workings of the industry.